Three years after the world’s worst oil spill at sea and EU legislators are on the verge of agreeing a weak and inadequate response to protecting the European marine environment from a Deepwater Horizon style future oil spill.

Three years after the world’s worst oil spill at sea and EU legislators are on the verge of agreeing a weak and inadequate response to protecting the European marine environment from a Deepwater Horizon style future oil spill.

While the provisional agreement between the Council, Parliament and Commission contains some positive elements, there are key missed opportunities, including going for a Directive rather than a more prescriptive Regulation, and failing to give the European Maritime Safety Agency a greater role in control and inspection.

The agreement also fails to ensure that EU companies abide by the same standards outside of EU waters as they do inside of them.

Under the agreement operators would be required to demonstrate that they have the financial capacity to cover major accidents, and spills could become a criminal offence under EU law. Operators would also be required to continually improve their emergency response plans.

 

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